Neela’s Story

All I can say is when I went to Samaritans Women’s Refuge, I was reborn. They made me feel strong. They felt like my family.

The day before I went to the refuge, I’d lost everything. I felt as if I had no reason to keep on living.

I had no family here, they all lived overseas. My partner at the time had treated me in a really bad way.

We met overseas when he came into my flower shop, and before we came back to Australia my brother said to him, “Please take care of my sister.”

He promised. But he didn’t keep that promise.

He hit me when he was drunk. He took advantage of me. He said he’d stop drinking, and he did for a while, but then he would always start again.

When I ended up in the Women’s Refuge, they gave me hope and a reason to live. I don’t have any family here in Australia, so Samaritans are like my family. The staff gave me their time, they gave me hugs, they shared smiles and laughs with me.

They also opened doors for me and helped me find a job. I’ve been working now for a year and living on my own.

They connected me with the local church, who are still so wonderful to me. On Christmas Day last year I spent the day with a kind woman from church and her family. They all celebrated my 40th birthday earlier this year; there were so many presents.

In my home country I ran my own business, arranging flowers for weddings and doing hair and makeup for brides too. I hope one day I can have a shop and do these things again. Now I want to work and to give back to the community in any way I can.

I have no words to show how much Samaritans has helped me. They were my guardian angel when I needed it most.

Thank you for your continued support of Samaritans. It really has made the world of difference.

With Gratitude,

*A stock image and alias name has been used to protect the author’s privacy.

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